How to Celebrate All Saints/All Souls in the Home

How to Celebrate All Saints/All Souls in the Home October 30, 2007

These important feast days are quickly approaching and I thought I would share with you how we celebrate them in our home and lives.

November 1: the Feast Day of All Saints. On this day the Church celebrates all of the brilliant and not so brilliant people who loved God so much they chose Him over all else. They loved him so much they became Holy like Him and during their lives their holiness could be seen by others. Think Mother Teresa, Francis, Gianna Molla, Anthony, the Apostles, Mary etc. This is a Holy Day of Obligation so the first thing we do is make sure we attend Mass during the day or evening. Sadly, we notice less and less people even bother to attend so make sure this is priority number one! In my home, we have saint pictures, statues throughout the house and we always ask their intercession during our morning and evening prayers so in a way we love our Saints throughout the year.

November 2: The Feast Day of All Souls. Not a Holy Day of Obligation, but my family ALWAYS attends Mass on this very important day. In Mexican culture this is the Day of the Dead and we celebrate the Day of the Dead in my home and at Mass. Since I am not Mexican, I have adopted part of the practices only. I don’t make the bread or the sugar skulls, but we have adopted the idea. We place pictures or momentos of our beloved dead–grandparents, Mother-in-Law, miscarried baby, other family, a list of names etc–and make an altar in our living room. The altar has a memorial candle (the long tall ones with a saint face on it), I leave the candle unlit because I have a toddler, I only light it during our prayer service. Along with the candle I place all the mementos and pictures of our dead family members and we pray for them and all souls in Purgatory. In the evening we attend Mass and carry along our pictures to place at the altar.
What I love about these two special days of the year, is that it connects the living with the dead. We will tell stories about our dead family members, members my daughter does not know, and in this way we pray for them and continue family traditions and stories. Oh, at the altar we also sing songs during our family service. We tend to sing in Spanish, so we choose Resucito (He is Risen) or Alabare, something joyous for the occasion.

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